•    Why Not to Mud Wrestle with Trump   

    Scales of Balanced Justice

    Abstract: As a Democratic Party Strategy — Is Mud-wrestling with Trump a Promising Strategy? That is the question this article addresses. This article is a direct response to a Wednesday, October 17, 2018 New York Times article by columnist Ross Douthat, entitled “The Elizabeth Warren Fiasco.” In that article, Douthat squarely addresses this question and he comes to the conclusion — “There is an obvious appetite on the activist left for a candidate or candidates willing to take on Trump on his own brawler’s terms. But if you come at him that way, you best not miss” Despite this apparent ‘allowance’ for mud-wrestling with Trump (if you don’t miss), Douthat appears to lean slightly toward the position that it is probably not a good strategy for the Democratic Party. What follows is a response to his Warren article and his permissive caveat — “you best not miss.”


    If Elizabeth Warren ends up being the Democrat nominee for president — that will represent the final nail in the Democratic Party coffin. Warren is simply a Clinton clone with eyeglasses. Clinton’s treatment of the ‘issues’ was 80% superficial “incontinent emotive reactivity” and 20% logical, rational nutrient-dense substance, whenever day-to-day ‘events of the moment’ in the news cycle called upon candidates to state their position on the issues. Her knee-jerk responses were always emotional content-barren generalizations like “I’m against racism.” And she incurred the disdain of many voters on the left because her content-barren generalizations and trivial “incontinent emotive reactivity” translated as mere demagoguery — a pandering strategy nearly identical to Trump’s — orchestrated solely to capitalize on society’s expressed emotional excitement of the moment — their anger, fear and resentment hysteria of the moment — as the news cycle dictated.

    Demagoguery may work for the Trump base of supporters, but it’s a toxic concoction for educated voters on the left. It insults their intelligence. Accordingly, in 2016 Clinton may have broken the all-time record for garnering — the most votes ever cast by voters who resented and abhorred her candidacy and Dem nomination.

    I voted for Clinton. But it was the ugliest, most disgusting, reprehensible, most gruesome vote I ever cast in 50 years of being a devout Democrat. What a horrid, regrettable choice we had to make. She seemed obsessed with tweaking every emotional nerve she could discern in the public’s fickle, hysterical news cycle sentiments.

    If the U.S. media had not succumbed to such emotional proclivities, the post-9-11 Iraq War drum-beat hysteria would never have gained any traction. If the U.S. media had not succumbed to such emotional proclivities, McCarthyism’s anti-commie hysteria would never have gained so much traction for so long. And . . . if the U.S. media had not been so swept-up in the emotive “inevitiability” and “entitlement” assumptions propelling Hillary Clinton to the Dem nomination, her glaring weaknesses would have been just as obvious as Warren’s. From the ordinary voter’s point of view — in 2016 it looked like the media and the DNC were muscling Clinton into position — not the voters.

    Warren and Clinton seem determined to reinforce the negative, unfair stereotype commonly imposed on women — namely that THEY allow their emotions to eclipse and occlude their rational, logical faculties. Trump and the political right have conclusively proven that this sexist stereotype is actually a ‘human’ proclivity, not merely a female proclivity. And the political right has proven why this is such a dangerous, dishonest and counter-productive proclivity.

    Just look at the exorbitant amount of time Warren has foolishly squandered dorking around with the trivial, wholly irrelevant issue of her alleged Native American heritage (OK, so I’m genetically traceable to Adam & Eve — so what?). It exemplifies her pettiness, her penchant for pandering and her petrified inability to jettison her emotionalism and focus on the crucial substance of important, pressing issues threatening this country’s stability and global standing. Warren is primarily an “appeal to emotions” pandering demagogue and if she becomes the Dem nominee — we are going to be stuck with Trump for another term — BECAUSE — voters on the left are sick and tired of this kind of brain-dead voting option that insults their intelligence. That’s why they gave an un-emotional Obama two terms.

    As a presidential nominee, Warren is a poison pill — not a life-saving pharmaceutical. With her emotionalism, she has inherited Clinton’s astonishing ability to galvanize the political right like no other candidate can. As with Clinton’s mindless email misstep, Warren’s “DNA fiasco” will serve as a lightening rod for Republicans and it will haunt her in damaging ways for the next two years. It has that sleazy, sticky fly-paper quality to it.

    What felt so good and so comfortable and reassuring about Obama was that he was so emotionally stable and calm — a kind of “Imperturbable Composure” as Buddhists might put it. It was absolutely impossible to lure him or maneuver him into an emotive reactionary response or mental state. Obama stuck to the facts and measured his comments so they couldn’t be weaponized for emotional exploitation. For some reason, since he left office, the whole world seems to have become emotionally unstable — in the extreme.

    In his NY Times article Ross wrote: “There is an obvious appetite on the activist left for a candidate or candidates willing to take on Trump on his own brawler’s terms. But if you come at him that way, you best not miss

    This statement betrays the primary point of his article, which was easy to agree with, that declared ‘Trump mud-wrestling’ to be, ipso facto, highly inadvisable as a party strategy. The above statement Ross made is actually false. It is indisputably clear that it does not matter whether you hit or “miss” when attacking Trump. The immunity Trump enjoys is virtually identical to the immunity Sen. Joe McCarthy had through most of the 1950’s. And likewise, that ‘immunity’ will last until the mindset of the general public morphs and mutates into a new form that lies outside the protective immunity shield — which means — outside of the emotionally charged atmosphere where emotion-baiting, hate-mongering and fear-mongering are so effectively and abundantly spawned.

    Hyper-emotionalism is a favorable and necessary environment and prime breeding ground for the opportunistic demagogue. The demagogue’s sole strategy is to fan the emotional flames — to give rise to discontent. And those who agree to wrestle in the same mudpit are also demagogues — who believe demagoguery is a legitimate instrument for influencing public opinion. And THAT is precisely what many voters on the political left are so sick and tired of seeing in their candidates — BECAUSE platitudes and pandering generalities insult their intelligence and reek of dishonesty.

    The rise of the religious right-wing political force in this country, as a case in point, is in effect, a manifestation of Republican pandering and exploitation of the emotional sentiments of a religiously dogmatic, anti-science, anti-reason, anti-education demographic that is emotionally hot-wired and super-charged with resentment of perceived “intellectuals” (the well-educated) — solely because Republican strategists drove that wedge, painted that picture and created that alienation — by pandering to their emotional biases, manufacturing diabolical conspiracy hysteria and scapegoating.

    Stated succinctly — When society erupts or descends into a seething, unstable emotional melting pot of extreme fear, anger, resentment and hysteria — this creates an environment that is amenable to pandering political opportunists’ efforts to exploit and capitalize on that emotional discontent. And that environment confers on those manipulative opportunists an “immunity” from frontal attacks. This immunity manifests as “emotions that have an immunity against logic and reason” — i.e. — “emotions that blame logic and reason for their deplorable plight.” Emotions ARE immune to logic and reason. So upping the dose of logic is futile. And upping the dose of emotionalism merely strengthens the viral infection.

    This is the blueprint for the Hitler era, the McCarthy era and the Trump era.

    Dems should not give-up on the idea that ‘truth’ can prevail against ‘falsity’ — on its own merits. Dems should not succumb to the notion that to defeat ‘demagoguery’ they must weaponize the same poison demagogues employ to great affect. In short — Dems should not succumb to the emotional hysteria that beckons them to ‘fight fire with fire.’ The way to fight fire is to create an environment that is unfavorable for combustion.

    So what would undermine this Trump ‘immunity’ so that reason and logic can prevail? An Obama-like emotional serenity, stability, poise and calm — a kind of “Imperturbable Composure” approach that disengages the hyper-reactive emotional response mechanism.

    If you want to prevent the hysterical ‘herd’ from stampeding over the cliff — one must exude a convincing, deep-seated sense of calm tranquility, confident serenity that permeates the atmosphere with the stability and confidence that comes from knowing that “hysteria” itself is the greatest danger we face and our greater wellbeing depends on our ability to resist the urge to succumb to irrational panic attacks. It’s something Obama was so incredibly masterful at doing.

    And what left-wing candidates manifest this emotional stability? The Dem names that quickly come to mind are: Dianne Feinstein, Bill Nelson, Joe Biden, Jerry Brown, Mary Jo White (U.S. Atty. So. District of NY ’93-’02), Michael Bloomberg, Dick Durbin.

    Ironically — we need Obama even more NOW than we did 10 years ago.


    The Reflecting Pool Discourse Blog


          — Related Reflecting Pool, NY Times & Washington-Post Articles —

    “The Elizabeth Warren Fiasco”
    New York Times — Ross Douthat   Wed., Oct 17, 2018
    The possible Democratic front-runner plays Trump’s game – and loses


    “A Fatal Trap-door Facing Democrats”
    Reflecting Pool Discourse Blog   Wed., Oct 17, 2018
    How moderate Republicans could seize the upper hand


    “Did Elizabeth Warren peak too early?”
    By Colby Itkowitz — Washington-Post   Fri., Dec 7, 2018


    “Elizabeth Warren Stands by DNA Test.
    But Around Her, Worries Abound.”
    NY Times — By Astead W. Herndon   Thur., Dec. 6, 2018


    “As her DNA test still reverberates
    Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s political operation shows fissures.”
    By Matt Viser — Washington-Post   Fri., Dec 7, 2018



  •    Reflecting Pool Discourse — Blog Introduction   

    Scales of Balanced Justice

    It is a more complex decision to live your life, rather than let your life happen to you. There are always more reasons to not get involved.”
    — Russell Crowe Tweet —

    There is a way in which Russell Crowe’s penetrating insight dovetails, in an interesting way, with another well-known axiom: “If you’re not part of the solution — then you’re part of the problem.”

    Until I read Crowe’s tweet, I had always just seen the axiom as a kind of ‘call to action’ for people to get politically involved in the struggle for social reform. And of course — it is. But the remarkable phrasing of Crowe’s tweet brought home the point that the axiom applies just as well to “the struggle within” each person — the struggle to understand the meaning and purpose of one’s life; the struggle to fulfill one’s potential; the struggle to ‘awaken’ to a new understanding that will finally make sense of the chaos within; the struggle to see our own faults as clearly as we see the faults of others; the struggle to attain the wisdom that we wish all humans had.

    The Reflecting Pool Discourse blog represents an attempt to reconcile the outer political-religious-social dynamics with the inner world of the human psyche — so as to convert the outer political-religious-social issues — from external dogmatic abstractions into a meaningful correlating map of the individual consciousness — with its hopes and dreams and needs and its long history of labeling, categorizing and defining ‘things’ — sometimes inaccurately in the heat of the moment.

    If the term “politics” or “religion” has any meaning whatsoever, it is realized only within the heart, mind and soul of each individual. Religion is not some ‘thing’ that is “out there” somewhere in the public domain that I agree or disagree with — rather it is an interactive dynamic within a psyche that interprets, defines, judges, categorizes, and reacts to that outer abstraction. With this understanding, the inquiry into these terms necessarily begins within that judging, interpreting psyche — because before we can decide ‘what to believe’ we have to first know what it is that we now believe and why we believe it.

    Jiddu Krishnamurti succinctly described a common glitch in this predicament when he said, “We are confronted with a dilemma that inhibits our ability to actually learn ‘New Things.’ This is because we listen comparatively. That is, we compare what we hear with what we already ‘know’ … what we already believe. That which does not comport is discarded. All listening of this type obviously prevents us from listening.” The big problem with this is that we all do this and we do it habitually and unconsciously. So it requires an extremely disciplined, focused effort to run this video in slow motion so we can actually see ourselves doing this — incessantly.

    Ordinarily, the proverbial wisdom is “Don’t talk religion or politics at a social gathering — if you don’t want to turn the ‘party’ into a War Zone.” Yet that caveat is assuming that the treatment of the topic is strictly as an external debate about the outer abstractions the topics are wrapped in. But when you unpack the contents and dive down into the deep end of the pool of the interpreting psyche that is ‘sorting the incoming mail’ — the outer skirmish is by-passed and the inner skirmmish begins.

    To this end, the Reflecting Pool Discourse blog presents a variety of Topic Categories with related articles intended to redirect the reader from the typical outer abstractions to the inner workings of the mind that is considering the issue. When properly understood, this converts the process from one of “examining the subject” — into one of “examining the critical mind” that is judging and interpreting the subject. It gets very, very interesting very quickly when articles are read in this way.

    All of the topics at the Reflecting Pool Discourse blog site are open for discussion and your participation by way of Comments on the articles posted is genuinely invited and encouraged. At this point in time, Moderator approval IS REQUIRED before a posted Comment will appear on a Post (necessitated by spammers and hackers). There is a very rapid turnaround time for Moderator approval — typically less than a few hours.


              1. Reflecting Pool Blog Introduction (uncategorized articles)
              2. Compassionate Truths
              3. Religion’s Mortal Wounds
              4. American Politics at Toxic Levels
              5. Animal Welfare Discourse

    Leaving Comments:: You can only leave comments for “Posts” — as Word Press does not display a comments section for “Pages.” But Keep in Mind there is a Post article for every ‘Page’ article — so you’ll always be able to submit a comment for every article on this site. If you see a ‘Page’ article you want to comment on — just find it under the same title under the ‘Posts’ section. To leave a comment to a Post — there are two “Required” fields that must be provided: 1) Your name and 2) your Email Address (E-mail address will NOT be displayed on the webpage). Keep in Mind comments submitted will not appear immediately. It takes 2-12 hours for it to appear — due to moderator approval requirements. Remember to click the reCaptchya “I’m no robot” security box BEFORE clicking the comments ‘Submit’ button.

    Special Note: The “Page” version of the article was necessary because “Post” articles can NOT be organized into Categories in any menus — because they are strictly date-ordered to show how current they are. But on Word Press Blogs — “Pages” do not allow visitors to leave comments. So I published all blog articles as both “Pages” and as “Posts” — so visitors could post Comments on every article here.

    Pages Categorized: To peruse this Blog site according to the Specific Topic Category, there are two Menu Options. Option One is to look under the “Pages Prioritized & Categorized” section on the left-hand side-bar Menu Panel and select the Page article you like under the listed Category. The Category header link is Worth Viewing — as it summarizes the importance of that Category. Clicking on a Page Title will take you to the Blog “Page.” The Second Option for viewing Topic Categories is to go to the “Topic Categories” mid-way down the left-hand side-bar Menu Panel and select the Topic of interest. This will take you to the first blog “Page” for that topic — with other Pages for that Topic appearing beneath that. There are two blog pages per page.

    Pages – Page No. Order: I have also arranged blog “Pages” according to their page number — which was simply a way to organize “Page” articles according to their level of IMPORTANCE. To peruse the blog “Pages” according to the page number, go to the “Pages – Page No. Order” section on the left-hand side-bar Menu Panel and select the Page of interest.

    ALL POSTS in Reverse Date Order (most recent on top): To view the entire string of blog Posts, which appear in Sequence with Most Recent First (descending order), click on the most recent Post (the first listed post) under the “All Posts – descending” heading on the left-side Menu Panel. Keep in Mind when you enter the “All Posts – descending” section, ALL posts from ALL Topic Categories are mixed together and the posts appear in descending date order, regardless of the topic category. To view “Pages” that are segregated according to the Topic Category they fall under, select a Topic under the “Topic Category” heading on the left-side Menu Panel — or better yet — go to the “Pages Prioritized & Categorized” on the left-side Menu Panel and select the article Page of interest to you. (see, “Pages Prioritized & Categorized” above).

    Recent Comments: To peruse the Comments submitted to the Reflecting Pool Discourse Blog by visitors, look under the “Recent Comments” heading in the left-side Menu Panel and select the Comment of Interest. Clicking on a Comment will take you to that Comment where you will be able to post your own comment on that Comment.

    Our Topical External Website Links: Reflecting Pool Discourse Blog “Website Links” appear under numerous headings that include the term “Website” in the heading. They appear in the left-side Menu Panel and they are labeled according the Topic Category which their subject matter falls under. These are “external” websites that will cause your browser to migrate away from the Reflecting Pool Discourse Blog website. Many of these “external” websites belong to the Reflecting Pool Discourse creators and you will see the word “Our” in the link title for these website links. Others are Third Party websites which we felt provided important, accurate, reliable information relevant to the Topic Category they are listed under. The word “Our” will be missing from these third-party website link titles. We always try to list these external website links according to the Topic Category they relate to, for easier browsing.

    Memorable Quotes: At the very top of the left-side Menu Panel is a revolving Marquee that displays 16 of the most memorable Quotes we have found in our travels. A new quote appears every 20 seconds. We will change \ rotate in a new batch of 16 quotes on a regular basis, to keep the offering fresh.

    Twitter Posts: On the left-side Menu Panel is a Twitter link to our “CatDaddy_NY” Twitter page (http://twitter.com/CatDaddy_NY). It used to dispay a few of the most recent Twitter posts — but — Twitter changed the ‘feed’ protocol so that it is a major gauntlet to set-up now – so I just have the link to my Twitter page. Clicking on the Twitter Feed label “Follow Me on Twittter” will take you to our Twitter site. On some browsers holding the CTRL key down or right-clicking on the link will offer an option to open link in a new window or tab.


    The Reflecting Pool Discourse Blog